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Using Social Media to Prevent Radicalism

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By: Alif Fikri)*

Social media is used for many things, one of which is to prevent radicalism. Do not let terrorism and radicalism go crazy and destroy Indonesia. Therefore, the public is encouraged to take advantage of social media and spread positive content and fight hoaxes spread by radical groups.

Indonesian people are diligent internet users because they open social media (social media) such as Twitter and Instagram every day. Social media is diligently monitored because many want to exist and become celebrities. Using social media is fun because netizens can interact with other netizens in all parts of the world.

But unfortunately, many use social media only for tiktokan or following the latest artist gossip news. Whereas social media can be used for other benefits, for example to sell, also to prevent radicalism.

The Dean of the Faculty of Psychology, Universitas Merdeka Malang, Nawang Warsi, stated that social media can ward off radicalism and invite goodness. The Ministry of Communication and Information has also mentioned that social media can ward off radicalism, and ward off hoaxes, propaganda, and hate speech with SARA (ethnic, religious, racial, and inter-group) nuances.

Social media can open up opportunities for anyone to do all activities through digital media, including doing good. The public can prevent radicalism on social media. The reason is because lately there are various radical and terrorist content on the internet and various social media platforms.

Radical content is certainly disturbing because it can affect the public, for example posts about the government being pro-communist because it brings vaccines from there. Corona is also accused of being a hoax because it came from there. They also invite to build a caliphate state and insult the government which is considered secular.

Even though the first vaccine manufacturer was indeed there, and the cooperation was only for vaccines, overcoming the corona virus, and business relations. There is no relationship between ideologies between countries and they have never influenced Indonesia, because it has different political streams. Indonesia is still a democracy and cannot be replaced by another ideology that easily.

To dispel content like this, people must use their social media accounts. First, when there is a post that smells of radicals and terrorists, it is immediately reported so that it can be reviewed by social media managers. When proven radical then the account can be banned forever. The public can also report the account to the cyber police on duty on the internet.

Second, the public can prevent radicalism by creating content with the nuances of nationalism and nationalism. For example, photos of national heroes or motivations taken from aphorisms from the nation’s founders. In this way, there will be more netizens who love Indonesia and try to maintain unity, and will not be persuaded by radical groups.

Radical groups must be fought because they are fierce on social media and are trying to find new cadres, especially among young people. Don’t let young people be brainwashed by radical groups and make their lives messy. Indonesia must be free from radicalism and terrorism in order to always be at peace.

Meanwhile, Dr. Jaenullah, a lecturer at IAIN NU Bandar Lampung, stated that it is a shame that freedom in Indonesia that is not accompanied by knowledge will become fertile ground for radical groups. In a sense, Indonesia is a democratic country but don’t let it be too free to be liberal. Since the reformation era and there is freedom of opinion, there must be a brake so that it is not too late.

Freedom in Indonesia should not be misused by radical groups, because it is so easy for them to create social media accounts and invite many people to be pro-radicalism and terrorism. Therefore, the public must be vigilant and report immediately if there is content with the nuances of radicalism and terrorism.

Dr. Jaenullah continued, radicalism spreads misinformation on social media and also propaganda. They spread a system of fighting each other and spreading hoaxes with the nuances of incitement, hatred, hostility, and calls for violence. So there must be serious prevention so that it does not run rampant.

The government certainly cannot monitor which accounts are spreading hoaxes and propaganda, which contain radicalism and terrorism. Therefore, the public can help the government to eradicate radicalism, so that this heretical teaching does not poison the minds of all Indonesian citizens.

The way to dispel radicalism is to teach people about digital literacy. They know how to tell the difference between real news and fake news and propaganda. If many people have digital literacy skills, they will not be consumed by the incitement of radical groups and will not get emotional just because of a content, which turns out to be a hoax.

People can use social media to prevent radicalism and terrorism. The trick is to immediately report if there is radical content, to the cyber police, and they will take immediate action. Digital literacy is also continuously socialized so that no one is consumed by hoaxes and propaganda spread by radical groups and terrorists.

)* The author is a contributor to the Nusa Bangsa Institute 

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